Report on March Summer Festival 2003

Report from the Cambs Times Friday July 11 2003

Thousands of people lined the streets of March on Saturday to watch one of the most successful carnival parades ever with organisers of the town’s three-day Summer Festival event hailing it as a huge success.

The parade, a highlight of the weekend, included 12 decorated floats and 300 walkers, making it much bigger than previous years. It was led by the Peterborough Highland Pipe Band, the Carnival Princess Hayley Wisbey and her attendant Grace Fitzjohn; and mayor and mayoress, Councillor Bernard and Sylvia Keane.

Organiser of the parade, Flt Lt Michael Eke, said the festival committee had wanted to carry on with the community event following last year’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

“We thank the town and community for once more supporting the weekend’s events and thank everyone for their participation in various live acts that took place. We intended to continue the community spirit theme following from last year’s massive celebrations. We knew that it wouldn’t match the Jubilee but our aim was to provide a free community entertainment and we succeeded,” he said.

Winner of the cup for the best float was March Deanery Mother’s Union. It was decorated with hundreds of sunflowers to create a sunflower garden. The float had been organised by March St Mary’s branch and was inspired by the sponsored sunflower growing competition arranged by Ely Diocese MU to raise funds for a literacy project overseas and for parenting groups in this country.

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with local bands playing in West End Park watched by hundreds of youngsters.

Car boot enthusiasts were out in force early on Saturday in the park for a sale organised by March and Chatteris Lions Club. Following the carnival procession there was a gala in the park run by the Lions and the festival committee. Fl Lt Eke had organised a flypast by the Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

On Sunday hundreds of families converged on the park to enjoy picnics and live performances by jazz musicians and local drama groups. This had been organised by Councillor Patsy Brewin.

A grand finale on Sunday evening featured more than 80 performers from Fenland Youth Orchestra with ‘A Night at the Movies’ featuring music from James Bond, Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Dambusters.